Elizabeth and the Factory Owner

According to Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, nobody gets rich on their own. Hot on the campaign trail for the 2012 Massachusetts senate, Ms. Warren waxed rambunctious about an imaginary rich factory owner who apparently isn’t grateful for the vital role government plays in their wealth creation. She vigorously explained how government built the roads, provided the employee education, and paid for the police and fire services used by the factory owner to grow his business. Near the end of this stern lecture, Ms. Warren reminded the factory owner of his social contract necessitating government’s long arm into his back pocket.

It’s bad enough this arrogant line of thinking infects Harvard’s student body on a daily basis, but Ms. Warren is a key player in the upper echelon of Democratic public policy decisions. She was Chairman of the TARP oversight board and an Assistant to the President and Special Advisory to the Secretary of the Treasury for the Consumer Protection Advisory Board. She appears the quintessential liberal whose worldview is dominated by the notion government fills the role of King and the private sector is filled with pheasants.

Government therefore forms the baseline from which all success flows: elected bureaucrats deciding what is best for the factory owner and all of us. She replaces government for Creator as the dispenser of our unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The Left’s economic equation now reads: Government spending + loss of individual property rights= more control and social utopia. Apparently, Ms. Warren doesn’t notice the backwards logic she and the modern day Left continue to propagate.

Who provides the revenue needed for Warren’s government to pave roads, teach children, protect citizens and safeguard property? It comes from taxpayers. And how do taxpayers earn income? They produce goods and services people want just like the factory owner does. Somebody has to control the means of production; either government or individual. So in order for Ms. Warren’s bureaucrats to pay for stuff (short of printing or borrowing money) individuals must first succeed in this little venture called capitalism. If the individual fails, the government has no revenue. Individuals create wealth. Government spends it. Ms. Warren needs more Adam Smith and less John Maynard Keynes near her bedside. She should be thanking the factory owner not chastising them.

Would Ms. Warren be so quick to bail out this small business should serious trouble arise? What rational people will take the risks needed to innovate without the possibility of exceptional reward should success follow? Why do liberals, in general, understand cutting McDonald’s workers’ pay obviously would dampen morale, but then expect business owners facing rising tax costs to continue working just as hard? Who decides what fair share means to fulfill the factory owner’s social contract? Is it Ms. Warren’s version of fair or somebody else’s? Why is a five trillion dollar debt increase over eight years of George Bush awful (I agree), but a four trillion dollar debt increase in three years of President Obama much needed stimulus?

Does the Harvard Law Library have a copy of the Constitution anywhere? I suggest Ms. Warren lookup Article 1, section 8 and review the more limited enumerated powers originally intended for our ever-burgeoning federal Leviathan. Government has a role to play in protecting and preserving individual rights. There is no role for spreading the wealth. I hope Massachusetts voters know the difference.